Trans writer defends ‘offensive’ Jesus, Queen of Heaven play

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A trans woman who wrote a play portraying Jesus as undergoing transition to become a woman has defended her work, saying that protests by angry Christians have no foundation in the Bible.

Jesus, Queen of Heaven is being shown as part of Scotland’s Glasgay! arts festival. Its opening night on Tuesday attracted 300 Christians holding placards saying “Jesus, king of kings, not queen of heaven” and “God: My son is not a pervert.”

The production has been attacked by the Christian Institute and the Catholic Church, who claim it should not have been funded by public money.

Writer Jo Clifford, who also performs as Christ in the production, told the Herald she had shown her script to a number of committed Christians who had supported her.

She told the newspaper: “I think it is very sad that the protest has enlisted Christians who have difficulties with gays and transsexuals. I wanted to point out that this does not have any foundation in the Bible.

“The people who angered Jesus were the scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites – the people who were deeply prejudiced, those who passed judgment on people they did not know.

“Being transsexual, I think an awful lot about where ­prejudice comes from.”

Clifford added that she had no wish to cause offence and felt the play was on the whole respectful to the gospel.

A review of the play in The Scotsman praised its “well-drawn” parallels between trans people and Christ, but added the work was too ambitious and Clifford was unable to resolve the Bible’s contradictions.